Town meeting

Residents hear from future voters, approve warrant without changes

By Stephanie Grinnell | Mar 13, 2018
Photo by: Stephanie Grinnell Palermo Consolidated School seventh-graders Karen Potter, left, and Aidan Tirrell address town meeting attendees March 10, seeking support for funding an eighth-grade class trip to Washington, D.C.

Palermo — Residents made quick work of a 31-article town meeting warrant March 10, approving each item without changes and with little discussion.

As one of the first actions, residents saluted the service of outgoing Selectman Holly Harmon, who has been on the board for six years. In an election the day prior, Robert Kurek was chosen to fill the open three-year term with 56 votes, to Angela Nelson's 50. Darryl McKenney will serve another three years as assessor, Road Commissioner Scott Childs was re-elected for a one-year term, Ellen Hatch received four write-in votes for a three-year term as General Assistance administrator, and William Sugg III was returned to the Regional School Unit 12 Board of Directors for another three years.

There were some changes to the Budget Committee in both membership and area of representation. Elected for one-year terms were Jenelle Tirrell representing Western Ridge, Dwain McKenney representing East Palermo, Patricia Clark for Level Hill, Shawn Porter in North Palermo, Gerry Madden representing Turner Ridge, Megan Childs for Branch Mills and David Parkman, at-large.

With primary elections in June, candidates and their representatives are making the rounds, including Joe Baiungo speaking on behalf of his wife Erin Herbig, who later arrived with son Charles in tow but did not address the entire group, and Cheryl Parkman for Jayne Giles, both of whom are running for the Waldo County Senate seat; as well as Rep. S. Paige Zeigler, D-Montville, who is running for re-election in House Distrirct 96, which includes Palermo.

The municipal budget was approved with a slight increase over last year.

While town organizations and programs requested the same amounts as the prior year, two young residents were given permission to speak about funding for their eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C. Seventh-graders Karen Potter and Aidan Tirrell said the $6,000 request to support the class trip will allow students to learn more about historical figures and events as well as visit museums in the nation's capital.

The roads budget — article 17 — also requested the same dollar amount as 2017 but one resident wondered about a particular road. The road commissioner said there has been a lot of talk about Jones Road around paving or leaving it gravel. Its condition is good, compared to some others, he said, but it hasn't been rebuilt. Sometime in the next month, Childs said he and selectmen will decide which roads to pave. Another resident said Jones Road is fine and shouldn't be paved. Selectman Harmon encouraged residents to bring those types of concerns to regular selectmen's meetings.

“When we hear from more than one person, it helps,” she said.

Another resident indicated the town's Unassigned Fund Balance is too high and suggested more money should be used to reduce the property tax burden. Residents approved $234,000 from the account to offset taxes and the budget remained under the LD 1 tax levy limit. Selectman York said the board follows the advice of auditors, keeping enough cash flow available to pay the town's bills without taking out loan.

After an hour and 20 minutes, which included a break to swear in newly elected and appointed town officials, residents adjourned the meeting.

Outgoing Selectman Holly Harmon, seated, receives a standing ovation from audience members as well as fellow Selectmen Cheryl York and Ilene McKenney, left, and incoming Selectman Robert Kurek during the annual town meeting March 10. (Photo by: Stephanie Grinnell)
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.

Staff Profile

Stephanie Grinnell
(207) 338-3333 ext. 110
Email Me

Stephanie is editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. She previously served as editor of Camden Herald following its return in April 2012.

Stephanie also was editor of VillageSoup's Capital Weekly in Augusta and has nearly a decade of experience in the newspaper business ranging from southern and central Maine to Waldo County.

Outside the office, she enjoys reading, cooking and gardening.

Stephanie lives in Washington with her husband Jeff, four children, a dog named Chewbacca, a rabbit and chickens.

Recent Stories by Stephanie Grinnell